© Avening Parish Council 2023
“Preserve, Conserve, Enhance”
17 Arthur Charles Stratford
Private: 10th Battalion Gloster Regiment
Arthur was born in Avening, his birth being registered in the 3rd quarter of 1897.
He was the youngest of the three sons born to Charles Stratford and Mary, née Kirby. Charles was
born in Slimbridge and his father, John Stratford (1846-1879) had married Sarah Leach (born
Sherborne 1846) in Horsley in 1869. John and Sarah had seven children, Charles being the eldest,
but the family moved quite a lot over the next ten years with the younger children being born
Cherington, Beeches Pike and Stanton, Wilts. When their youngest child, Mary Ann had just been
born, John died leaving Sarah with the seven children. They appear in the 1881 census for Avening,
Charles then being 11 and working as a farmer's boy whilst Sarah had become the village post
woman, a job she held for at least 10 years. In 1891, the census returns show Sarah still with five of
her children at home on Old Hill with four of them working, Charles and William as labourers, Harry
employed in a stick factory and Thomas, then aged 14, as a cloth worker. Mary Ann was still a
On Saturday the 22nd July 1893, Charles married Mary at the Holy Cross Church. Mary was from an
Avening family and she had, in her ancestry, Hopes, Coates and Hobbs connections. In 1901, they
were living on Folly Row, Point Road with three sons, Arthur being the youngest. Five more brothers
followed although the youngest three died in infancy.
Charles died in 1909 leaving his wife with at least five sons all under sixteen and here we lose
contact with the family until Arthur's death is recorded on the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission's register as having died on Wednesday the 7th of February 1917. At the time he was
serving with the 10th Battalion Glosters, having been conscripted some time during the middle of
the previous year. We know nothing of what actions he was involved with but the Regimental
Archives tell us that he died of pneumonia. Nothing shows if this was brought about by other
injuries. He is buried at the Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension in France and lies between two
men of the 6th Battalion King's Own Scottish Borderers, David Benson from Scotland and Joseph
Jackson of Durham.
At the time of his death Arthur was 19 years old and unmarried. He was entitled to two medals, the
Victory Medal and the British Medal and these would have been presented to his mother. There are
no immediate relatives living in the village but we have been able to contact his brother's
descendants, now living in Pucklechurch and South Cerney.